International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.45, No.30, 15336-15345, 2020
Duckweed derived nitrogen self-doped porous carbon materials as cost-effective electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction in microbial fuel cells
Cost-effective metal-free electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction were incredible significance of improvement about microbial fuel cells. In this research, a novel nitrogen self-doped porous carbon material is effectively inferred with KOH activation from a natural and renewable biomass, duckweed. Self-doped nitrogen in carbon matrix of nitrogen-doped porous carbon at 800 degrees C provides abundant active sites for oxygen reduction and improves the oxygen reduction kinetics significantly. Moreover, the porous structure of nitrogen-doped porous carbon at 800 degrees C encourages the transition of electrolyte and oxygen molecules throughout the oxygen reduction reaction. Oxygen on the three-phase boundary is reduced to water according to a four-electron pathway on nitrogen-doped porous carbon electrocatalyst. The single-chamber microbial fuel cell with nitrogen-doped porous carbon as electrocatalyst achieves comparable power density (625.9 mW m(-2)) and better stability compared to the commercial Pt/C electrocatalyst. This simple and low-cost approach provides a straightforward strategy to prepare excellent nitrogen-doped electrocatalyst derived from natural and renewable biomass directly as a promising alternate to precious platinum-based catalysts in microbial fuel cells. (C) 2020 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.